Net neutrality … or government confiscation of private property?

NY Times photo

The socialist editorialists at The New York Times never miss an opportunity to miss the point.

The Times is praising the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit for upholding the Federal Communications Commission’s Obama-backed net neutrality rules that treat Internet providers like monopoly utilities. The 2-to-1 decision forbids Internet service providers to offer upgrades in delivery speeds for a price.

The decision helps to ensure a level playing field for smaller- and start-up internet businesses because it precludes larger, established companies like Amazon and Netflix from simply paying broadband companies for faster delivery,” the editorial states. “Equally important, it ensures reliable service and choice for consumers by acknowledging that the internet, now a requisite of modern life, is akin to a utility, subject to regulation in the public interest.”

Isn’t there a public interest in food? So why do grocers charge more for beef than chicken? It’s all meat.

Forbes contributor Hal Singer labeled the decision economically illiterate.

“In an ideal regulatory regime, (1) the FCC would be compelled to apply cost-benefit analysis, showing that the benefits of the ban exceed the costs (and that no less-restrictive alternative generates even greater net benefits); and (2) a reviewing court would scrutinize the FCC’s cost-benefit analysis,” Singer writes. “Neither happened here.”

Just like the old Ma Bell had to reason to innovate, Internet providers will now have less incentive to improve services for anyone and everyone since there is no more profits to be netted.

Singer quotes a passage from the 69-page dissent of Judge Stephen Williams to make this point:

The Commission’s disparate treatment of two types of prioritization [paid peering versus paid prioritization] that appear economically indistinguishable suggests either that it is ambivalent about the ban itself or that it has not considered the economics of the various relevant classes of transactions. Or perhaps the Commission is drawn to its present stance because it enables it to revel in populist rhetorical flourishes without a serious risk of disrupting the net.

Democrats won’t stop until there is no private property left, and, once there is no private property, all other rights are in jeopardy.

As economist Milton Friedman once said:

Government has three primary functions. It should provide for military defense of the nation. It should enforce contracts between individuals. It should protect citizens from crimes against themselves or their property. When government– in pursuit of good intentions tries to rearrange the economy, legislate morality, or help special interests, the cost come in inefficiency, lack of motivation, and loss of freedom. Government should be a referee, not an active player.


24 comments on “Net neutrality … or government confiscation of private property?

  1. nyp says:

    Gosh, there are literally dozens of grocery stores and supermarkets within driving distance of my house. I can order chicken or beef at all sorts of price points.

    Not so true of my broadband providers.

  2. If you would do the research, you’d find there are options and would be more in the future without net neutrality rules.

  3. nyp says:

    The “options” at most replace monopoly with oligopoly.

    But, why quibble over policy, when your objections are value-based? You believe that government’s only role is to provide military defense, local policing, and enforcement of private contracts. Other professed goals of government — protecting citizens from discriminated against due their religion or race or gender identity, or breaking up monopolies, or providing a social safety net, or paying for elementary schools, are, in your view, illegitimate.

    Given that attitude, a discussion about the merits of rules to keep broadband providers from manipulating our ease of access to different websites seems besides the point.

  4. Steve says:

    Hmm, when the phone company was a monopoly all was good, nyp? Just regulate it to death and everyone gets the exact same service with no, or very slow, technological advancement.
    If that was so great, then why break it up?
    And, in breaking it up, didn’t we end up with dozens more options for services of all kinds? Including, as it so happens, wireless broadband? And some of those are beginning to offer real unlimited data.
    So, won’t this strangle that newly emerging competition for the current existing, government created by break up, oligopoly? Which consists of two broadband providers per market (on average) {in Las Vegas its COX and Centurylink and they are splitting up the area so they can become monopolistic.}
    As usual you hype more government to fix problems more government already created!
    And in the process you stifle emerging competitive offerings from a growing number of providers.

  5. Rincon says:

    My old phone from the 1960’s still works just fine. I’ve replaced newer portable phones at least 4 times in the last 10 years. Back then. the bills came and I paid them. No promotions, shopping around or getting screwed over, which has happened to me at least three times. Slammed twice and was signed up by AT&T for a phone contract that I did not approve. I did get most of my money back, but not all and the aggravation was worse than any financial loss. I think the old monopoly was pretty decent.

    As for technological advancement. the sound quality was better forty years ago – or am I just ageing?

  6. Steve says:

    Dunno about your ears, but the sound is perfectly fine to me.
    So is the video…but they didn’t have that forty years ago on phones.
    So is the GPS mapping….how did you use that on a wired analog device?
    Kept up with my investments today while on the road…how much did those “car phones” cost forty years ago? And I didn’t use the voice option, I used data! Now how much data was available forty years ago? At any price?

    Nevertheless your post, Rincon, supports my statement. More government to “fix” what more government created in the first place is such a (sarcastic) great idea.

  7. Rincon says:

    Can you tell p from a b or an f from an s? I can’t either. You like the sound quality only because of your political preferences. Compared to live sound, the telephone performs like a child’s toy, except that a lot of toys are better.

    Bell Telephone seemed to have no trouble keeping up with technology, which was rapidly advancing in the 1960’s also. Seems to me that it was two Bell scientists that won the Nobel Prize for detecting the background radiation from the Big Bang. Has Verizon won any Nobel Prizes lately? They also invented the laser, the first practical transistor and the first practical solar cell. Not bad for a regulated monopoly. Has Sprint invented anything lately?

  8. Steve says:

    Bell telephone went the way of Kodak…plenty of inventions and patents they let gather dust.

    The idea is to grow the business and compete, unless you really do want socialism.
    Oh, I forgot you are a business owner and socialism is great for business owners with no competitors.

    ” Compared to live sound” did not realize old analog telephone handsets were comparable to “live sound”


  9. Rincon says:

    Sorry Steve, I’m not fond of arguing against nonsensical notions. It’s obvious that before it was dismantled BY THE GOVERNMENT, Bell research was top notch. If you can’t admit that, I understand that not everyone has the maturity to do so..

    My claim about the sound of telephones today is not that it used to be better (although I suspect it was). It was that your “innovative” companies have completely failed to improve sound quality. Deregulation didn’t impress me. Poor sound quality is only one reason of many.

  10. Steve says:

    Still, Bell telephone went the way of Kodak…way before the before the government “fixed” it, as you so describe. AT&T, on the other hand lasted until the government applied the “fix” you so lament.
    Today the government is going to “fix” it again…before it has a chance to really get going.

    I own a good chunk of AT&T a company DRIP stock Used to be Southwestern Bell. The stock was handed down from my grandmother before she died. My grandfather (who died before I was old enough to remember him) was rather high up in AT&T, my grandmother had a little over 4 million dollars of the stock when she passed.
    We know a little about the company from that history.

    The fix you lament so, is finally beginning to work. The competition Justice wanted to create has taken almost a generation to begin to appear and today, they want to “fix” it back to what it was then, an oligopoly is what it is and what it will remain under this new “fix”. In some markets it will be a monopoly.
    Because there is little or no incentive to improve speeds the battle will only be for the existing, fully saturated, customer base.

    Your monopoly is what you want, and that is what you are going to get. Along with the prices you will be paying for it.

    It was good for my grandmother and I suspect it will be good for my DRIP account too. But I still think it would be much better to have a bunch of service providers all clamoring to offer content and service instead of one or two offering both, like we have right now and will have with so called “net neutrality” forcing them to be public utilities that also control much of the content providers.
    This is taking them from broken up to consolidation.

  11. Rincon says:

    “In 1949, the United States Department of Justice alleged in an antitrust lawsuit that AT&T and the Bell System operating companies were using their near-monopoly in telecommunications to attempt to establish unfair advantage in related technologies, especially the fledgling computer industry. The outcome was a 1956 consent decree limiting AT&T to 85% of the United States’ national telephone network and certain government contracts, and precluding the Bell System from extending its reach into the fledgling computer industry and from continuing to hold interests in Canada and the Caribbean.”

    “The breakup of the Bell System was mandated on January 8, 1982, by an agreed consent decree providing that AT&T Corporation would, as had been initially proposed by AT&T, relinquish control of the Bell Operating Companies that had provided local telephone service in the United States and Canada up until that point.[1] This effectively took the monopoly that was the Bell System and split it into entirely separate companies that would continue to provide telephone service.”

  12. Steve says:

    Mr. copy paste on full display.
    AT&T owned the baby bells. They weren’t separate at all.
    Hence being called “The Telephone Company”

  13. Rincon says:

    Nit picking is also ethically and logically bankrupt. If you object to copy and paste, then you might try clearly stating your objection. Or should I say, “concession noted?”
    Fact is, the monopoly telephone company of the 1960’s engaged in world class research.

  14. Steve says:

    So I was right about you. You want the monopoly.
    No wonder you like the “fix” they are putting in.
    You dislike competition. You like tyranny.
    Good lib.

  15. Rincon says:

    Of course I want a monopoly. It’s called a natural monopoly and it is STILL essentially a monopoly. (Pseudo)deregulation caused no major positive changes, but instead led to several negative changes. I also saw no major cost savings when electricity was pseudoderegulated. Where are all of the promised benefits? Some things such as utilities are totally impractical unless run and regulated as monopolies.

  16. Steve says:

    yep, that explains single payer

    You don’t like the benefits of capitalism but, owning your own practice, you enjoy them all the same.

    Liberal ≠ Logical

  17. Rincon says:

    As you used to say so frequently, quit putting words in my mouth. I support capitalism and its benefits. I’m just not stupid enough to believe that it is the answer to everything.

  18. Steve says:

    ” I’m just not stupid enough to believe that it is the answer to everything.”

    Ah HA!
    Another concession via insult.

    I knew you would see the error of your ways and get mad about it!

  19. Rincon says:

    There’s no insult here – unless you actually believe that capitalism is the answer to everything. If so, it’s the hedgehog vs the fox.

    Enjoy your “concession”.

  20. Steve says:

    The implication was anyone who does not agree with Patrick, is “stupid enough to believe that it is the answer to everything”,,, hence, the insult.

  21. Rincon says:

    Patrick? He wasn’t even in this conversation.

  22. Steve says:

    Hmm, you two certainly used the same “tone” if such exists in written form.

  23. Steve says:

    Well, well.
    It appears one hand does know, or understand what the other hand is up to.

    LMDS wireless operates at 28 ghz and higher. These frequencies do not have any effective “building penetration” over distance, as the radio waves tend to “bounce off” surfaces.
    Nevertheless, opening this spectrum up would mean wireless providers could set up “local towers” with the idea in mind to service very specific customers with very fast 5G and very wide bandwidth on the channels.
    What this means is wireless providers will be able to offer (for a price) super fast and unclogged service to specific users and/or providers, because the towers will be physically located near the customer sites.

    How is this to be rectified with wired providers being limited in their ability to do the same thing by offering certain customers and/or providers better connectivity for more money?

    In fact, it specifically gives Verizon and AT&T exactly what so called “net neutrality” supposedly prevents!

  24. Steve says:

    Should read “It appears one hand does NOT know….”

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